Tributes to Rotary's Ray Kids unwrap Christmas for Oxfam

THERE was plenty of celebratory mirth in John Street on Friday night as members of the Dingle Rotary Club congregated to laud the achievements of former club president Ray Farrell at a gala dinner in Doyle's Restaurant.

The club's new president, Annette Cremin, paid tribute to Ray for the work carried out under his tenure, which included a string of fund-raising and community-based initiatives.

A special presentation was also made to the club's PRO Mairead De Staic for her fund-raising efforts during the year.

Annette said Dingle Rotary Club has provided defibrillators in the Holy Ground in Dingle, in Garraí (Lispole), in the villages Ballyferriter and Ballydavid and at the Bothar and has also helped with vital local fund-raising initiatives such as the drive to equip Tamara Baker with a special wheelchair and in helping to raise funds for Lisa Moriarty who required specialist care in the US.

Dingle Rotary has also supported Cuan Counselling and the local scouts' troop along with taking part in Rotary's global initiative to eradicate Polio,

THERE was great excitement in Scoil an Fheirteáraigh last Friday morning as a donkey, a goat, a couple of hens and a docile heifer occupied the schoolyard.

Before you think that Killorglin's Puck Fair had migrated to Ballyferriter, the animals were there to join scoláirí Scoil an Fheirteáraigh as the guests of honour of the national launch of Oxfam Ireland's Christmas Gift Campaign, which was taking place in An Ghaeltacht for the first time.

"These animals represent some of the gifts that can be found in Oxfam's Christmas Gift Campaign which is entitled 'Unwrapped'," said Claire Quinlan of Oxfam Ireland who travelled to Iarthar Dhuibhneach to attend the launch.

"There is a broad scope when it comes to these gifts ranging from €5 to €50 and if you purchase an Oxfam Unwrapped gift your donation will fund projects that your gift represents," Clairi added.

The pupils were in fine form on the day, giving a voice to the Oxfam Unwrapped Christmas Campaign as they performed their own unique rendition of 'Old MacDonald Had a Farm' as Gaeilge. The launch also managed to attract the attention of the national media with past pupil Seán Mac an tSíthigh filming the event for Nuacht TG4.

The children were delighted with their animal guests with Jimí de Faoite and Colm Ó hEartáin even managing to coax the goat to wear a Santa hat!

The children also learned about Oxfam's work and how in the past nine years more than 140,000 unwrapped gifts have been purchased in Ireland, raising over €4 million which has gone towards aiding more than 500,000 people in Tanzania and Malawi.

"We were so delighted to have had the opportunity to launch this campaign in the Gaeltacht," Claire added, "it was important to us that the campaign was given a voice 'as Gaeilge', something the school children have managed to do beautifully."

More information on Oxfam Unwrapped is available at or by calling into the Oxfam shop in Abbey Court,Tralee.

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